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Thread: Authors should really stop telling readers how to give reviews

  1. #2176
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
    They are a major tool of the site for readers. They are not meant to be primarily popularity contests, although some are treated that way because books can be identified by how many people shelve them under what shelves. They are not meant to be advertising, although a lot of authors and their shills try to act as if they were.
    I wish they'd remember that there are readers on GoodReads that don't even notice the shelves. So calling attention to it (and in the worst manner possible) is not a good way for the author to show themselves in the best light.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
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  2. #2177
    Attends The School of AW Alitriona's Avatar
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    Until Goodreads stops operating Author programs, suggesting ways for authors to interact with readers, offers targeted advertising to readers from authors, links blogs and such, and allows authors to hold giveaways on site to encourage readership, authors will see it as a promotional tool. Rightly so. That is how GRs operates it and no amount of readers saying otherwise will not make a difference to the authors using it for that purpose.

    I personally stay away as much as possible these days, although I maintain an account there. The best way to not be accused of stepping out of line is to not get involved. I enjoyed GRs as a reader in the past. I've reverted back to a spreadsheet.
    Last edited by Alitriona; 08-26-2012 at 03:45 PM. Reason: typo

  3. #2178
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alitriona View Post
    Until Goodreads stops operating Author programs, suggesting ways for authors to interact with readers, offers targeted advertising to readers from authors, links blogs and such, and allows authors to hold giveaways on site to encourage readership, authors will see it as a promotional tool. Rightly so. That is how GRs operates it and no amount of readers saying otherwise will not make a difference to the authors using it for that purpose.

    I personally stay away as much as possible these days, although I maintain an account there. The best way to not be accused of stepping out of line is to not get involved. I enjoyed GRs as a reader in the past. I've reverted back to a spreadsheet.
    I don't dispute that it's a promotional tool. But the only way that even works is by having a large membership to promote to.

    Goodreads is sold to readers as a site to organize their books, talk to other book lovers, and learn about new books from other readers (and authors). It is not sold as a site where readers are a captive audience to drink whatever book advertising is shoved at them.

    Goodreads is presented to readers as a place where they have a voice and the freedom to talk about what they read.

    That Goodreads presents itself to authors (and possibly advertisers) as a way of reaching this audience is secondary.

    Goodreads needs to focus on the interests of its members who are readers, otherwise it is likely to devolve into something like Amazon's forums, where it sometimes seems like two out of every three posters are authors advertising their books.

  4. #2179
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
    Goodreads needs to focus on the interests of its members who are readers, otherwise it is likely to devolve into something like Amazon's forums, where it sometimes seems like two out of every three posters are authors advertising their books.
    From my observation as an aspiring writer, I think this is the problem with most social media type sites. Small Indie and many self published writers are limited in where they can promote, especially those who only publish via E-publishing. So they join these sites more or less to promote their work. The platforms are already established to draw in readers.

    Nothing wrong in that I suppose, until we start interacting with each other and readers, and not in a good way. In many ways these sites eliminate the need for the writer to find their own niche or to build a platform that is uniquely their own. They are piggy-backing off of these sites.

    I am not saying all Indie or self published writers do this, or do it in such a way that readers are turned off. Look how nicely we play together here at the AW. But, if we did not have active moderators, the AW could easily fall into the same trap.

    The problem I see anymore is that there are too many self published, and small Indie writers out there all trying to find the same audience. What audience is that? Those of us who troll the Internet looking to see what other authors are doing. The problem is, not all readers partake in these social media type sites. I would even venture to say that the majority of readers do not.

    So when something bad happens between readers and authors on these sites, it grows very quickly because of the small number of readers and writers who are participating. It then spills over onto other sites because the same people are tracking site after site, after site. As large as the Internet is, it really is a small world at times.

    If you hate this type of reaction between reader and writers, or writers and writers, never visit sport blogs and read the responses. They are far worse...

    PS, I am not putting small Indie presses or self published writers down, only giving an observation from what I see as both a reader and an writer. From all the various social media platforms I have joined in the past, the AW is by far the best for information for writers, no matter what route the writer takes...
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  5. #2180
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zal View Post
    carrollbryant.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-list-2-proof-of-bullies-on-goodreads.html

    Aaaaaaand, we're back to Carroll whining about people not liking his books.

    I'm pretty ambivalent when it comes to reviewing books you haven't read before, but I've read one of his, and it was hilariously awful, so most of those people are probably right.
    Today's installment on CB's blog is the Flag of Egypt.

    How does he get away with lifting hole blocks of info from Wikipedia? And this is not the first time I have seen him do this stuff on his blog. Compare what he wrote and the Wiki listing. Link below...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Egypt

    He also does it with pictures and cartoons.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 08-27-2012 at 07:29 AM. Reason: Schema removed; he can get his own traffic
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

    Currently working on...

    From, The Tales of Netherron,
    Book 1, A Game of Pawns
    Book 2, Pawn takes Queen,
    Book 3, Pawn's Gambit,

    In the pipeline,
    Children of Netherron, follow up trilogy
    Guardians of Netherron, prequel trilogy

    http://nickanthony51.wordpress.com (on hiatus)

    Nick Anthony

  6. #2181
    I need no hot / Words. Pyekett's Avatar
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  7. #2182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alitriona View Post
    Until Goodreads stops operating Author programs, suggesting ways for authors to interact with readers, offers targeted advertising to readers from authors, links blogs and such, and allows authors to hold giveaways on site to encourage readership, authors will see it as a promotional tool. Rightly so.
    Yeah. I remember GR before the authors got so heavily involved and it really was just a site for readers. Inviting the authors in probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but it's created areas of conflict that I think weren't anticipated.

    No putting the genie back in the bottle, alas.

  8. #2183
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    Best way to avoid the drama: do not read or review any self-published titles. Yeah, that sucks for the self-published authors who are not entitled snowflakes or batshit insane, but until the "indie" community as a whole wraps its head around some notion of professionalism, who'd want to deal with stuff like this? I used to now and then check out a self-published book (so far without any success at finding something readable, but at least a few show potential), but while I'm not afraid of some angry author showing up to yell at me if I post a bad review, I just don't see why I should reward them with attention. I'll note that of all the author reactions I've gotten to my reviews, only once has a pro author taken issue with anything I said, and he was polite and reasonable. All the indignant raging tirades have come from self-publishers.

    YA seems to be a close second for stirring up the crazy, but usually that's the fans, rather than the authors, bringing the drama.

  9. #2184
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zal View Post
    carrollbryant.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-list-2-proof-of-bullies-on-goodreads.html

    Aaaaaaand, we're back to Carroll whining about people not liking his books.
    If I were a mean person or a bully, or just an asshole, I would suggest he get past that problem by writing better books.

    But I'm a nicer person than that.

    I'm pretty ambivalent when it comes to reviewing books you haven't read before, but I've read one of his, and it was hilariously awful, so most of those people are probably right.
    Careful, his 'lawyer' will come after you for damages.


    Quote Originally Posted by JamesOliv View Post
    This whole thing kind of reminds me of those restaurants on Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares that complain the reviewers are "out to get them." It never has anything to do with their shabby restaurants, dated menus or disgusting food. It has to be a conspiracy.
    And did you notice how they were always the ones who argued with Ramsey that he didn't know what he was talking about?

    Quote Originally Posted by eternalised View Post
    Ugh. Why does he automatically assume anyone who rates his book a one-star hasn't read it? I guess the thought people probably just didn't like it never once crossed his mind.
    Probably not, to be honest. Some people have such a huge sense of entitlement and inflated egos that they just cannot see how anyone, anywhere would NOT like them or what they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by CmdrShepard View Post
    Somehow I am getting the image of Inigo Montoya stuck in my head...
    My name is Carroll Bryant. You gave my book one star. Prepare to be named on the internet and threatened with my nonexistent lawyer.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 08-27-2012 at 07:29 AM. Reason: Schema removed; he can get his own traffic
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  10. #2185
    practical experience, FTW Wisteria Vine's Avatar
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    I'm all for giving new writers the benefit of the doubt as they grow their skills, but I read sample pages from his books and they were...well...not good. I can't imagine anyone but his posse rating it as highly as he claims they do.

  11. #2186
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Zal's Avatar
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    Secondly, I hold out reservations that this "Zal" even read any of my books. It would be nice if she (or he) could discuss the context of the book intelligently. I.E. - what was it about? What didn't you like about the story? What did you think about the characters? - I have a bank account full of money that says "Zal" can't answer these questions because "Zal" didn't read any of my books. (Just a hunch)
    lol, Bryant thinks I was lying about having read one of his books. Look at the comment section. I wonder why, exactly, he has a "hunch" that I haven't. I suspect that it's because he thinks I am simply just a terrorist-bully who hates him for no reason at all and had absolutely nothing positive to say about it. He keeps repeating that he doesn't care about negative reviews, which makes sense to me, considering that the demographic of his intended audience would have been more prone to give the book positive reviews under different circumstances. But honestly, if I was the author of his books, I'd be happy for people to just buy them without leaving a review of any kind.

    Anyway, Last Flight Out was the book I read. I know you don't believe me, Carroll (and I know you're reading this, "LOL"), so I'll just quickly give everyone here a rundown of the problems I found with it.

    I admit, I already have a bias against YA romance, being the hardcore dudebro fantasy/scifi fan that I am, but I'd say that I was able to successfully bypass whatever unfair, personal hangups I had with LFO...and found more reasons to be annoyed. There were just so many things that contributed towards a general malaise that pervaded every page of the book, from the incompetent grasp of writing punctuation for dialogue that never relents for the entirety of the book ("He's a loser." Lily confirms. ALL the dialogue is written like that, without commas before the last quote...and people wonder why self-publishing is sometimes viewed as a symbol of mediocrity.) to the very fact that the whole premise of the book was based on a personal fantasy of his that was so thinly veiled that I felt like I was reading an entry from his blog. (The repeated comments about Elvis really bolster my claim.)

    In case anyone's too lazy to look up the synopsis or was absent from the internet for the past two months and missed Bryant's fixation with younger, barely legal girls, Last Flight Out is about "forbidden love1!1!1" between an older guy (named "Kavita"...seriously?) and a 16 year old high school student, something which, outside of the context of Bryant's history online, wouldn't have bothered me at all. But when you look at the "Hollywood Crushes" part of his blog (what kind of self-respecting author would even have something like that listed?) and keep in mind all of the semi-predatory actions he's taken against female teenagers on GR (you know, the fake picture thing and everything else), you start to see some odd parallels between LFO and his real life. At first, it came off as pathetic, and I truly felt bad for the guy, but then it started to sicken me when I noticed how he so nonchalantly denies any accusation that's hurled at him, as if we're all bullies and "terrorists," who've all just attacked him for the hell of it.

    (Also, Chopin never composed any symphonies, Bryant. He was only a pianist. It's simple fact checking would have saved you from conveying the pretension of knowing about "classical" music....Yeah, nit-picky, I know, but in the context of other mistakes and instances of bad writing, it's much more annoying.)

  12. #2187
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffysquirrel View Post
    Yeah. I remember GR before the authors got so heavily involved and it really was just a site for readers. Inviting the authors in probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but it's created areas of conflict that I think weren't anticipated.

    No putting the genie back in the bottle, alas.
    Sure there is. Make'em take out a 'commercial account' and charge them for it.
    They can still participate as readers, for free, but if they mention their book or their blog, they get the 'upgrade' to a paid account.
    I say books and blogs because just as most of the 'promotion' is the work of 'indie' authors, I'd bet that a lot of bloggers are only reviewing because it gives them blog-filler with a ready audience,
    That would explain the 'snarky' style of review,or the 'nasty' review that doesn't say anything useful: it's likelier to attract interest than a serious, 'professional' review.

    Goodreads could use the money from the commercial accounts to get more moderators. Win-win.

  13. #2188
    practical experience, FTW
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    More moderators? Some moderators!

  14. #2189
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Well, apparently there is at least one moderator. Who doesn't work weekends, or, presumably, holidays.

  15. #2190
    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    I'm on GR primarily as a reader, although I do have an author account. It saddens me to see my author friends giving their own books 5-star ratings. I haven't even shelved my books, let alone rated them. I don't shelve my friends' books or rate them either.

    My author profile page shows all of my books. That's good enough for me. My shelves are what I read.

    My author friends tell me I'm using GR wrong. It's clear they are there not just primarily as authors, but ONLY as authors. I don't see the point of that, because they have no sense of how the site works or its culture.

  16. #2191
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Zal, But when you look at the "Hollywood Crushes" part of his blog...
    I agree. Considering the accusations about CB and his fascination with young ladies, his Hollywood Crushes are very frightening.

    This is just a personal opinion, but I am not sure none of these young ladies would appreciate a man in his 40's (?) having a crush on them. Unless they got a daddy syndrome.

    Last I heard, he was going to discontinue the Hollywood Crushes because of copyright issues floating around the Interweb and he did not want to be drug into this. So instead he posted about flags, lifting huge chunks of material from Wikipedia without giving a credit. This is his typical MO for most of what he blogs...

    I also read the blurb for Last Flight Out and it sounds more like the writers fantasy than some literary statement. That too is OK, but don't try to defend the work as something good. CB is no Nabokov.
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  17. #2192
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Honestly I think reaching out to authors/publishers is primary because that is a revenue stream. The readers are what is being sold--the product not the primary client.
    Emily Veinglory

  18. #2193
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by absitinvidia View Post
    I'm on GR primarily as a reader, although I do have an author account. It saddens me to see my author friends giving their own books 5-star ratings. I haven't even shelved my books, let alone rated them. I don't shelve my friends' books or rate them either.

    I have mine shelved, but that's because when I joined GR they told me I should. But I never rate them.


    Quote Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
    So instead he posted about flags, lifting huge chunks of material from Wikipedia without giving a credit. This is his typical MO for most of what he blogs...
    To be fair (which sticks in my craw a bit, I admit, and remember IANAL)... Wikipedia's content is offered under a sort of "group" Creative Commons license which grants permission to re-post anywhere by anyone under certain conditions (copyrights are not, to my understanding, owned by the actual authors of the content, but by Wikipedia). One of those conditions, I believe, is attribution.

    In other words, the truly problematic thing is the potential plagiarism issue in posting it without attributing; making it appear that it is his own original text. Had he provided a link and the words "From Wikipedia" or similar, this would--in my understanding, and IANAL--be okay for Wikipedia content. (And I add, lots of people are confused re copyrights on Wikipedia content, because of that "group copyright" thing [which is a term I'm using for illustrative purposes not a real term] and because they grant open permission to repost. Plenty of people miss the part about attribution.)

    Whatever I think of the guy, it does appear he's making an effort to educate himself on infringement.

    Carroll, if you happen to read this, here's a good baseline test: If this was my content, i.e. an essay I wrote, would I think it's right for someone to copy-paste it onto their blog without mentioning me? Or would I think I should be credited?

    If you think "I should be credited," find the Copyright notice for whatever source it is, and see what it says. And acknowledging your source is just polite, aside from any legal considerations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights


    Again, IANAL!
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  19. #2194
    The King Who Bore the Sword J.W. Alden's Avatar
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  20. #2195
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.W. Alden View Post

    Why the popcorn? Thothguard knows I have only the highest respect for him and like him, and I believe he feels at least some of the same in return. I have zero interest in arguing with a friend (and agree with him generally in this matter), I just wanted to clarify, for a number of reasons.

    None of those reasons are related in any way to my personal feelings about Thothguard or Mr. Bryant.
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  21. #2196
    The King Who Bore the Sword J.W. Alden's Avatar
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    Sorry, Stacia. That wasn't actually directed at your post, just this thread in general. I poke my head in here every once in a while and can never get over the sheer volume of drama that I've missed since last time. It's crazy!

    It's made me damn near terrified of my barely used goodreads account, and even a little cautious of my own blog. But hot damn, it's entertaining (or downright nauseating, depending on the nature of the links)! Epic thread is epic.
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  22. #2197
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post

    To be fair (which sticks in my craw a bit, I admit, and remember IANAL)... Wikipedia's content is offered under a sort of "group" Creative Commons license which grants permission to re-post anywhere by anyone under certain conditions (copyrights are not, to my understanding, owned by the actual authors of the content, but by Wikipedia). One of those conditions, I believe, is attribution.

    In other words, the truly problematic thing is the potential plagiarism issue in posting it without attributing; making it appear that it is his own original text. Had he provided a link and the words "From Wikipedia" or similar, this would--in my understanding, and IANAL--be okay for Wikipedia content. (And I add, lots of people are confused re copyrights on Wikipedia content, because of that "group copyright" thing [which is a term I'm using for illustrative purposes not a real term] and because they grant open permission to repost. Plenty of people miss the part about attribution.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights

    Again, IANAL!
    Stacey, got no problem with you being fair and clarifying the copyright position. From what I remember about Wikipedia fair usages of copyright, the attribution notice is required.

    The problem is CB lifted whole sections without giving Wikipedia the proper attribution. This created the impression he wrote this all on his own. And I might add that this post was better thought out and formatted than most of the samples of his work I have read. This fact is what struck me immediately and caused me to search.

    It is also obvious that many of his past blog post have also been lifted from other sources as the writing is very different.

    Thank you for clarifying...
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

    Currently working on...

    From, The Tales of Netherron,
    Book 1, A Game of Pawns
    Book 2, Pawn takes Queen,
    Book 3, Pawn's Gambit,

    In the pipeline,
    Children of Netherron, follow up trilogy
    Guardians of Netherron, prequel trilogy

    http://nickanthony51.wordpress.com (on hiatus)

    Nick Anthony

  23. #2198
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
    Stacey, got no problem with you being fair and clarifying the copyright position. From what I remember about Wikipedia fair usages of copyright, the attribution notice is required.

    The problem is CB lifted whole sections without giving Wikipedia the proper attribution. This created the impression he wrote this all on his own. And I might add that this post was better thought out and formatted than most of the samples of his work I have read. This fact is what struck me immediately and caused me to search.

    It is also obvious that many of his past blog post have also been lifted from other sources as the writing is very different.

    Thank you for clarifying...

    Exactly. You're totally not wrong that there is a problem here, legally and ethically. I just wanted to clarify the issue a bit, was all.




    Quote Originally Posted by J.W. Alden View Post
    Sorry, Stacia. That wasn't actually directed at your post, just this thread in general. I poke my head in here every once in a while and can never get over the sheer volume of drama that I've missed since last time. It's crazy!

    It's made me damn near terrified of my barely used goodreads account, and even a little cautious of my own blog. But hot damn, it's entertaining (or downright nauseating, depending on the nature of the links)! Epic thread is epic.
    No problem. I was worried my post may have had a tone I didn't intend, so wanted to ask.
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  24. #2199
    is a twisted individual C. K. Casner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaldna View Post


    My name is Carroll Bryant. You gave my book one star. Prepare to be named on the internet and threatened with my nonexistent lawyer.



    Thanks, I needed a good laugh!

  25. #2200
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by CmdrShepard View Post
    Somehow I am getting the image of Inigo Montoya stuck in my head...
    Quote Originally Posted by shaldna View Post
    My name is Carroll Bryant. You gave my book one star. Prepare to be named on the internet and threatened with my nonexistent lawyer.
    That wasn't quite the image I had, but it does fit quite aptly. Kudos.

    I was actually working with his belief that people who shelve his books as 'DNR' (or that leave 1 star ratings) are "internet terrorists and bullies":

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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